Atlanta Falcons 2023 Draft Grade
The Falcons added some solid pieces to their roster in free agency. However, I do think it was vital for them to hit on most of these picks if they want a chance to be successful. Honestly, I think they did just that. Take a look at my thoughts on each draft pick.
Round 1: No. 8 – Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas Longhorns
I could not think of a better pick for the Atlanta Falcons. Robinson will join Tyler Allgeier in the backfield and form a very dangerous backfield. Going into the draft, I had a feeling that Robinson was high on the Falcons’ priority list. He is a powerful runner who is also light on his feet and can make defenders miss in the open field. Robinson also has very good balance which allows him to work through traffic and stay on his feet after getting hit. I mentioned in last year’s draft that I am a fan of Desmond Ridder, and I can only imagine what Ridder, Robinson, and Allgeier can do together.
Round 2: No. 38 (via IND) – Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse Orange
Another pick, another star for the Atlanta Falcons. Out of all the prospects projected to go in the 2nd round, Bergeron was towards the top of my list. He is an athletic tackle who will be able to step in and be an impact blocker for Robinson immediately. Although he is also good in pass protection, he is at his best when he can attack defenders and steer them away from the ball carrier.
Round 3: No. 75 – Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State Buckeyes
If I had to use one word to describe his game, I would say he is aggressive. He has very long arms which allows him to be the first one to engage in contact. From there, he does a good job of using a variety of pass-rush moves to get past the blocker and apply pressure on the QB. However, he does need to work on his lateral agility to help him get around blockers. If he can step in on day one and act as a rotational EDGE, he should develop into a solid player.
Round 4: No. 113 – Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah Utes
Phillips III is a very interesting cornerback prospect. He is a natural when lined up in zone coverage because he has good field awareness. Additionally, when dropping back to his zone, he does a good job of keeping his eye on the QB which allows him to get a good jump on the ball. Despite his lack of size, when the ball comes his way, he does a good job of meeting the ball at its high point. The only concern I have is how well he will do in the NFL given his smaller frame.
Round 7: No. 224 (via LV) – DeMarcco Hellams, S, Alabama Crimson Tide
For a prospect with a 7th-round grade, I think Hellams will be a solid player in the NFL. He has a solid frame that allows him to have a strong presence against the run game. Hellams ability to make tackles in the middle of the field is a big reason why I am a fan of his. If he is the last line of defense to prevent a big play from happening, you can rely on him to make a play. He would have a higher grade if he was a more fluid athlete with more flexible hips. Regardless, he will be a solid backup and special teams player.
Round 7: No. 225 – Jovaughn Gwyn, G, South Carolina Gamecocks
Another pick in this draft where the Falcons add another player to help out Ridder. Gwyn can play both guard and center because he is very quick after the snap and can hold his own against power rushers. He also does a good job of putting his hands in the right position to neutralize defenders. In the run game, he has good enough speed to pull block across the line. However, he is a smaller guard at 6’2″ and weighing 297 lbs.
Final Thoughts on Atlanta Falcons Draft
Overall, I think the Falcons did a good job of adding talented players to their roster. They added a star running back and offensive tackle in the first two rounds. Then, they added Harrison who is a freak of nature when it comes to getting into the backfield. In the secondary, they added Phillips III and Hellams who will need to develop but have solid potential. Finally, they added a guard who could slide down to center and be the rock of the offensive line if developed right.
Overall Draft Grade: B+
Falcons 2023 Draft Grade Analyst – Matthew Lewis